Two Vancouver Giants make the grade when it comes to the NHL’s Central Scouting mid-term rankings in anticipation of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Defenceman Brett Kulak is ranked 67th among North American skaters, while centre/right wing Dalton Sward is ranked 188th.
Kulak was originally ranked 12th among WHL skaters in Central Scouting’s preliminary rankings. The native of Stony Plain, AB, who turned 18 years old on January 6, has played all 42 games this year for the Giants, recording 4 goals, 7 assists, 11 points, 12 penalty minutes, and is a team best +22. His plus/minus is second best among all WHL rookies and fourth best with regards to WHL defencemen.
Sward is in his second full season in the WHL. He too just turned 18 years old on January 10 and has 10 goals, 9 assists, 19 points, 40 penalty minutes, and is a +5 in 42 games this year with the Giants. The 6’1, 182 product of Abbotsford, BC was the Giants 1st round selection in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft.
Forward Nail Yakupov from the Sarnia Sting of the OHL was the number one ranked player among North American skaters. He also played for Russia at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Alberta. Defence though dominated Central Scouting’s rankings, especially blueliners from the WHL. 5 WHL defencemen were ranked in the top 10 among North American Skaters. Everett’s Ryan Murray is 3rd, Moose Jaw’s Morgan Rielly is 5th, Mathew Dumba from Red Deer is 7th, Edmonton’s Griffin Reinhart is 8th, and Derrick Pouliot of Portland is ranked 10th.
This year’s NHL draft will be held June 22-23, 2012 at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
For the complete mid-term rankings, click here.